The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila

Nov 11, 2015

Photographer Nadia Sablin grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, and each summer her family escaped the hustle and bustle of the city to spend time with their extended family in a small, rural village. They left Russia for good in 1992 and Sablin didn’t know whether she would ever get a chance to go back.

She went back for the first time more than 15 years later, and although everything in Russia had changed, one little piece of the world remained exactly the same: the small family home in Alekhovshchina.

Sablin was fascinated by how this place seemed suspended in time, and how her aunts’ lives were so seamless and cyclical, so she did the thing that came most naturally to her—she started snapping photographs.

The new book “Aunties: The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila” (Duke University Press and the Center for Documentary Studies/2015) is the culmination of seven years of photography work, and these photographs are now on display at Duke University’s Rubenstein Photography Gallery through February.

Sablin launches the exhibit with a talk and book signing tomorrow at the Rubenstein Gallery; the reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with a talk to follow.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Nadia Sablin, 2014 winner of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, about her photography work that stands at the intersection of fine art and documentary.